Brú Youth Services Crumlin National Male School / Crumlin School (Boys & Girls) / Master National School

Owner / Occupier Information:

Crumlin Schools
1847-1860 [Master not named]

Crumlin National Male School / Master National School
1861-1865 John Howard
1866 [Master not named]
1867-1868 Edmond F. Murphy
1869 John Howard
1870-1875 Thos. Hayes
1876-1877 Patrick O Connor
1878-1881 Joseph O Connor
1882-1884 James Malone
1885-1889 Patrick Kelly
1890-1898 James Malone

Crumlin National Male & Female School
1899-1904 James Malone, master; Miss C. Neville, mistress
1907 Mr. Nyham, master; Miss C. Neville, mistress
1908 Mr Nyham
1909-1914 P Lynch
1911-1915 P. Lynch, master; Mrs. Payne, mistress
1916-1949 F. Gaffney, master; Mrs. Payne, mistress




With the Catholic Emancipation of 1829 and the long dark night of trials and
persecutions behind them, Catholics could now come out of the shadows and
from their hiding places and, instead of looking over their shoulders in fear,
they could now look ahead. Catholic schools began opening up all over Ireland.
and in 1824 there were over eleven thousand of them. Practically all were
primary schools and over nine thousand were private or ‘hedge schools’.
In 1831, with stone from the local quarries, the Catholics of Crumlin built for
themselves a school beside the little chapel of St. Agnes at the southern end of
Crumlin Village. According to a description given to the late Frank Oman by a
former pupil, the school was a two-storey, lime-washed building with a slate
roof. The girls occupied the ground floor which was entered by a door at the
end, close to the road. The boys used the upper room which was entered by an
exterior and covered stairway at the other end. There were four windows with
shutters which opened outwards (see illustration p.96). This was probably the
‘Catholic poor school’ in the village, mentioned by John D’Alton around the
1830s which, he tells us, was supported by charity sermons and voluntary
contributions and was attended by seventy children. The Dublin Directory of
1842 mentions a ‘free school’ in Crumlin, with a Mr. David Mullen as
In 1914, this old lime-washed school was replaced by the existing red brick
building, now a youth club and protected structure. The new building was not
built on the exact site of the old one but a little to the right of it and closer to
the chapel. The population of Crumlin around the middle of the nineteenth
century was nine hundred and fifty-eight and the population of the village was
five hundred and forty-four, with one hundred and fifteen houses CRUMLIN NATIONAL SCHOOL – THE RED BRICK SCHOOL
Crumlin National School (now Brú Crumlin Youth Club) was built in 1914 to
replace the aforementioned lime-washed school. As previously mentioned, the
new school was not built on the exact site of the old white-washed one, but a
little to the right of it, closer to the little chapel. Although frequently referred to
as ‘the red brick school’, the two-storey building with slated roof is basically
Dolphin’s Barn yellow brick, with window surrounds and other features in red
brick, possibly from Portmarnock. The building, now a protected structure, is
representative of the architectural style of many national schools of that
During its years as a school, the building consisted of two large rooms, one
above the other; the upper storey was accessed by a stone stairway which was
located in the central projection of the building. The boys occupied the
downstairs room which was divided by a wooden partition to facilitate a
number of classes. The girls occupied the upstairs room, which was also divided
by a wooden partition, the infants and first class in one section and the more
senior pupils in the other.
Mrs. Payne and Mr. Lynch moved with their pupils over from the old limewashed
school to this new one and Mrs. Payne continued to teach there until
the early 1940s. Mr. Gaffney was schoolmaster from 1916 until the late 1940s.
Mrs. Robinson also taught the boys around the 1930s. Other teachers and
masters during the 1940s and 50s included Mr. Hanratty, Ms. Lavin, and Mr.
Hugh Cassidy, who taught the boys, and Mrs. Griffin, Miss O’ Dwyer, Miss O’
Farrell, Mrs. O’ Gara, Miss Burke, Mrs. CoughIan and Miss Curry, who taught the
Up until the late 1930s and early 40s, the pupils at this school, and the former
lime-washed school, mostly came from Crumlin Village and the surrounding
roads. Later, a few children from the new Corporation houses in Lower Crumlin
and neighbouring Drimnagh attended the school. When St. Damien’s Primary
School was officially opened in 1971, the Old National School ceased to
function as a school and was used by the St. John Bosco Boys’ Youth Club.
In the interest of the history and architecture of the building, I mention the
following: During the 1950s, while still a school, a single storey flat-roofed
extension was added at the right side of the front facade of the original building
by the Department of Education. Unfortunately, part of this extension,
including two of its modern windows of different dimension to the originals, was
inserted right into a significant portion of the lovely brickwork of the whole portion of original red brick and two original windows, conflicting with
the architectural symmetry and character of the building. (A second storey was
added to the extension some time in the early 1970s, which did not interfere
with the original brickwork).
Later, at some stage, the original doorway to a stone stairs leading to the upper
storey was blocked-up, (possibly by the Department of Education). This
doorway, which was positioned on the right side of the projected section of the
building (same side as the new extension) had the word GIRLS carved in basrelief
on a granite plaque above it. The corresponding doorway on the left side
of the projection, with the word BOYS above it, has survived. Also removed at
some stage, was the name CRUMLIN NATIONAL SCHOOL, which had been
carved in granite relief letters on the front of the projected section of the
building, just above the lovely arched window, a name which should have been
preserved for historic reasons. (It should be mentioned that all the
aforementioned alterations were carried out before the present Bru Youth Club
was associated with the building). Luckily, the smaller granite plaque, bearing
the date 1914 in relief letters just below the arched window, has survived. Also
surviving is the ornamental iron cross above the central apex of the building.
From around 1946, the school building was the venue for the St. John Bosco
Boys’ Club and from the early 1970s the building has been occupied by the Bru
Crumlin Youth Club. Thanks to the club’s committee and all those concerned,
both the interior and exterior of the building — now a protected structure — has
recently been beautifully refurbished and the interior, with its state of the art
decor, up to date youth facilities and tailor-made programmes to meet the
needs of young people, must surely be a flagship in the running of youth clubs. I
am sure that the young people are proud of their club — with the added bonus
of being based in an historic building.

Appears in the following maps:
Building Details
Longitude: -6.315670396386712
Latitude: 53.317768611723935
Crumlin Road
Still exists: Yes